Here at Betty & Babs our very own Betty the Border Terrier was part of our special day last September (how time flies!), at the beautiful Tower Hill Barns in North Wales. There was no question, Betty was always going to be part of our special day so it was carefully planned.
Here are 8 tips for when you start planning your wedding day to include your four legged friends.
- First things first, do check that your wedding venue does allow dogs! Ask the venue about their pet policy before you sign a contract - it would be disappointing if you were asked to send your dog home just before your wedding! You may find as we did, that there is a cut-off time when you will have to party on without your pooch. In our case it was just before we sat down for our wedding breakfast, so arrange in advance for your dog walker to pick your pup up.
Do make sure you create a wedding day schedule specifically for your dog and assign a family member or friend to look after them. Plan out how they will arrive at the venue, where they will be at different times of the day, and how you will provide them with the necessities to keep them content - treats/kibble, water, toilet breaks etc. The best person to look after them is someone who is already involved in the wedding day, but has a flexible schedule, and of course preferably someone who loves dogs (and knows your dog) and will give them the attention and love they deserve!
- Do think about whether your dog will be happy walking down the aisle past 100+ guests. If you would like your dog to participate in the ceremony and walk down the aisle, have them walk with someone - whether it be with the groom, groomsmen, or your top dog loving bridesmaid. The last thing you want is your dog to cause a commotion during the ceremony - although Betty did decide to have a scratch halfway down the aisle, which added a bit of amusement, and helped Tim calm his nerves a little.
- Do choose your dog’s wedding attire. If your dog is used to being dressed up, go ahead and choose a wedding-themed outfit. Make sure it’s comfortable and that they can go about their business in it. If your dog prefers to be au naturel, consider decorating their collar with a bow tie, ribbons, or flowers (non-toxic!) - Betty looked adorable in her flower collar.
- Do make sure to take a trip to the groomers or wash your dog at home before the big day so that they look and smell great.
- Do take your four legged friend out for their usual walk on the morning of the wedding to burn off some energy - just make sure they don’t roll in fox poo!
- Do embrace the madness! This applies to more than just your pooch’s part in the proceedings. No wedding goes completely according to plan, and things that might surprise you on the big day often inform the stories you’ll be telling for years to come.
Don’t worry! If you’ve read the above and are thinking your four legged friend might prefer to stay at home (with care of course), there are still lots of opportunities to show how important they are to you:
- Include them in a photo on your save-the-date card, invitation, or wedding website.
- Find a wedding-cake topper that includes a dog, along with the happy couple.
- Use dog-themed accessories, like place cards, photo holders, or paw-print confetti.
- Send thank-you notes from all three of you, with a family photo.
- Wear a piece of jewelry celebrating your dog’s breed. Etsy is great place to look for this.